Early Days

The Collection

Guitars 4 Sale

Jazzy Stuff



Jazzy Stuff.
Jazzy Stuff is simply my note pad ...... I am just listing thoughts, bits and pieces, links and music clips as I go along  -  some things I would like to share.     Have fun!
  Dans un Club de St Germain-des-Pres.  Paris.  1956.     Anonymous.
Tal Farlow It was Tal who got me started back in the late 50's.   Back then he was really distinctive - doing things I hadn't heard before.   I loved his harmonic sense but I just couldn't work out how he managed the fingering.    If you find his version of "Misty" on you Tube you can begin to see how.   This was recorded later in his career (past his immaculate best) but I love it because he does what we do  -  he fluffs a few phrases here and there but ...... I wish!  

But it was always "Fascinating Rhythm" that got me,  so here it is.     One more time ...............................




Sal Salvador Next up was Sal.    Sal might not have been the greatest, technically or musically but,  back in the 50's I loved what he was doing.    If you ever find a copy of Frivolous Sal you are in for a treat.    I still play his Blue Note recordings from time to time.

Here's a sample  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv62s6bwIsU

It was Sal who let me see that you could play single string melodies all night if you just had a good Bass player and Drummer with you.


Sal's later work drifted in my opinion but if you want to ex[plore some"Crystal Image" work,  this is some valuable research:


Johnny Smith I was probably about 18 at this time and enjoying Tal and Sal.    Naturally I had started looking for more guitar jazz.   I found a copy of Johnny Smith and his New Quartet.     Johnny was quite different in style from Tal,  less virtuoso and more melodic.   It seemed to me he just let the music come through.    I still love "You'd be so nice to come home to" and "Round About Midnight" was not only new to me at that time,  it was an introduction to Monk.      One of those special moments!

I still regard Johnny's early Roost recordings as a model for "that special jazz sound". and the "New Quartet" LP on Vinyl is still high in my personal top 10 albums of all time

He was a major influence in my early appreciation of guitar jazz back in the 60's.

Much admired for his music and for his family values.

Joe Pass I probably have more shelf space dedicated to Joe than to anyone else, yet too much Joe doesn't work for me.   He can really make me melancholy     I just dip in when I'm in the mood.  

Here is just one superb example of the real Joe.

If you like this try his CD "For Django".   "Unforgettable" is a great album too and one of my favourites is "Ira, George and Joe"   He was so, so good!



Barney Kessel I've mentioned these guys alongside my notes on the collection so I will get round to adding something here when I can.


Al Gaffa At the end of a three week business trip to the US in Sept 1978 I kept a few days free to take in Manhattan,  to see the sights and go in search of my kind of jazz.   I thought it would be easy.   A guitar, Bass, Drums,  maybe Piano  - something along the lines of Barney or Joe, or maybe something a little more 70's.     I searched high and low but nothing.    I found great music  -  of course I found great music but not what I was looking for.   In the end I gave up searching and decided I would at least get a memorable meal on my last night.    So I booked a window table at the highest restaurant in Manhattan  "Windows on the World" .

Windows on the World was on the 106th floor of The World Trade Centre.     The very top of the North Tower.

Merely to have been there makes me very introspective, knowing what unfolded in 2001.

But that Friday night in '78 the lights came on all over Manhattan  -  not all at once but over the course of an hour or so as night fell.    The views over the Hudson River were stunning.    Somewhere I have some pics - I must look for them!     The meal was outstanding and the view unbelievable and naturally I started thinking about my return home the next day.    I was just thinking of having an early night when the Bass player started tuning up.   I hadn't seen him arrive,  nor noticed the other two guys.      One sat at the drums whilst the other pulled nicely patinated L5 from its case.    Sweet, sweet jazz!    It was just what I had been searching for all along.     My meal was nearly over but I stayed very late that night.

The following morning there was just time to hunt for a few LPs before heading off to the Airport and, and there in the window,  by coincidence,  an Al Gaffa LP.   "Leblon Beach".

I often tell friends about that evening and how this obscure jazz guitarist really made for a memorable farewell to NY.

From time to time I have looked for other Al Gaffa CD's but nothing.

And now, in this week of 9/11/2011,  reflecting on Al playing at the twin towers,  and just happening to find his LP before leaving Manhattan, as if those were not enough coincidences,  up pops Al, large as life, interviewed in September 2011 justjazzguitar magazine.     It's an interesting read.     He is still gigging in NY,  still a respected session player and in demand in the clubs,  but as to CDs,  well he just made the one recording.     The one I brought back with me as a momento.    It's good.     If you find a copy of Leblon Beach,  go for it.

  "Pause pipi"    I've never seen guitarists do this!!      Anonymous.
Kenny Burrell    
Martin Taylor    
Attila Zoller  
Jimmy Vivino    
Tristan Powell Take a look at #007 in the Gibson Gallery and you will get the story!  
Mitch Seidman    
Walter Beltrami Walter was a guitar teacher in Brescia,  teaching jazz and studying with Kurt Rosenwinkel.     After a while, Walter himself taught at Kurt's jazz guitar school in Switzerland.    Naturally Walter wanted a NYSS-3b (like the Master) and I know he was delighted with mine.   More at www.walterbeltrami.com   
Kurt Rosenwinkel I caught Kurt's second set at Ronnie Scott's in April and was mesmerised.   If you have got this far down the page you will know that I am "old fashioned"     I was introduced to Kurt's playing by Walter Beltrami (above) who bought my first NYSS-3b.    Kurt's "Intuit" CD really appealed to my musical taste but as he developed and become more experimental I lost interest.   But I learned a long while ago not to write jazz musicians off on the strength of CDs and seeing Kurt for the first time,  being there with him playing,  I was blown away.     He was stunning that night (an probably every night).     So much creativity - so much talent - so much technique - so much magic.      If you ever get the chance,  just GO,  sit,  listen and be transported.  
Pat Martino  
Tomás Gubitsch My good friend Thierry,  sometimes of France, sometimes of the Sudan, sent me this clip.  We were discussing Defurne guitars and this is by way of an advert for one of his models,  the Classic. 

"Round Midnight" has long been a favourite and Pat Martino recently recorded it.    I love Pat's treatment of it and have been trying to learn the Martino score but,  guess what,  a lot of notes!!

Then I heard Tomás' version and immediately it seemed right for me.     I really love this interpretation and was greatly honoured recently when Tomás played it for me privately not just once but,  as an Encore,  played it again.    Sheer magic.   

Tomás.  I am indebted to you.   I realise that I must start taking my playing more seriously.   I am going to go into a dark room and try to re-learn how to play the guitar.

So,  here is some more magic.     Enjoy!!








NYS-2 #209 D'Angelico